My wood chip garden paths
We have a wood chipper at home but we mostly just use it for fun. I need a lot more material than I can make myself for my wood chip garden paths.
I started adding wood chips to the pathways in my kitchen garden in 2011. And I'm so happy I decided to go for wood chips. It's an amazing material to work with. The wood chips are so nice to walk on top of, they look beautiful and match everything growing in my garden just beautifully.
The fact that this material is completely natural is, of course, a huge plus too! The wood chips will sooner or later break down and turn into humus in the pathways. Then all you need to do is add some more of course.
I had a lot of issues with couch grass before and that's why I started covering the pathways with wood chips. First, I removed as much of it as I could, then I put newspapers in the bottom and thick black landscaping fabric layer on top. And after that, a thick (4-6 inches, or 10-15 centimeters) layer of wood chips on the fabric. It's been a few years now and it's time to fill the pathways with new wood chips, and my ambition is to remove the fabric when I do.
More garden DIY on YouTube: Pots made from paper
We have been constructing wood chip garden paths just like these in the classes I teach. Since a lot of people want to know more about how I made the pathways and what material I have used, I wanted to show you a few pictures from a class I taught recently.
This kitchen garden was created in an area with a lot of grass, but from what I can see, there are no invasive weeds where my paths are. So, we can start simple by putting some newspapers down.
That's what I thought at least. We were apparently out of newspapers so I put some old hay in the bottom and added the wood chips on top. If it doesn't work, we will just have to do redo it.
Where do I get the wood chips?
The farm where I teach classes get plenty of wood chips from their own forest. There's so much of it that they don't know what to do with it all! A luxury problem. Most gardeners would be thrilled to have their own little wood chip factory for their gardens.
You could of course also buy wood chips from your local saw mill. We have one in our village that sells wood chips for 10 dollars per cubic meter. Last time, I bought around 40 cubic meters and got it delivered to my house. A neighbor with an excavator helped me spread out the wood chips.
If you don't have a saw mill close to where you live, you can often find wood chips in stores that sell building materials.
Make your own wood chips
My dream is, of course, to become self-sufficient in wood chips and everything else I might need for my garden. But this is not the case right now. The garden does, of course, produce a lot of twigs and branches I can put in the wood chipper, but it's simply not enough. We basically only use the wood chipper for fun at this point. We get enough wood chips to use as mulch on my cultivation boxes for example, but not much more. I need to buy more material than that to get enough for my wood chip garden paths.
More garden DIY: Building a brushwood fence
When should I replace it?
It took around 6 years before the layer of wood chips had decomposed so much that dandelions and other weeds started growing here. Adding a new layer of wood chips is actually easy work since the material is so light. You might need a good audiobook or podcast though, so you don't get too bored.
I'm very happy with the results and I have used wood chips for our new patio on the south-facing side of our house, and around the polytunnel too. I would like to have even more wood chip garden paths that connect all the different parts of the garden. It just looks so beautiful against the plants and the deep red house.